Taste and See the Lord is Good!

In celebration and in honor of what God has done in healing my mom from the injuries she sustained in her fall a year ago, I wanted to focus on Psalm 34 for our Psalm Saturday edition this week.

David penned Psalm 34 after he escaped from Gath. We see him reflect on God’s goodness, praising the Lord for His faithfulness in delivering His people from trouble. David exults the Lord and calls on all God’s people to lift up praises to Him.

As a believer, I wonder how successfully I live out verse 1. Do you? It’s one thing to praise God when things are good, but as I’m sure you’ve experienced too, it can be difficult to remember to continue praising the Lord during a storm.

We can trust that God hears and responds to our prayers because David reminds us here, as he does so many times in Psalms, that he has personally experienced the Lord answering his cries for help in times of great distress. In our 21st century culture, overrun with busyness and overwhelmed by noise, it may be hard to see, hear, and taste God.

Yet, He is there.

Mom falling and breaking her ankle in multiple places came on the heels of saying farewell to my friend Mark, a beloved and godly man who modeled Christ for so many of us. Emotionally it was a dark time whose clouds I feel I’m just now emerging out from under.

Today, I’m overjoyed that Mom is completely healed and that the Lord continues to bless her, love her, watch over her, and care for her. She is a blessing to a ton of folks, including me. Her joyous spirit remains strong and vibrant, showering love on all those who know her. She is a faithful friend. She has a kind heart and is thoughtful of others, calling them on their birthdays, sending them cards on special occasions. She is determined and resilient. A lifelong learner, she continues to work on her craft as an artist. She loves people and she loves the Lord.

Yes, taste and see that the Lord is good. Indeed, He is.

Psalm 34 New Living Translation (NLT)

A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.

1 I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
2 I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
3 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.

4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
12 Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
    not one of them is broken!

21 Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
    No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm Saturday

For my upcoming birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Trusted World. I’ve chosen this nonprofit because I know their CEO personally and I know that the TW team will put any funds raised to excellent use.
I believe in Trusted World’s mission and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal.

If you’d like to donate you can do so here.

 

Psalm Saturday: Psalm 86

Psalm 86 is a prayer written by David, the shepherd boy who became King over all Israel. Based on his experience of God’s goodness, David asks the Lord to show His strength by standing against the proud who are exalting themselves over him. It is the only psalm ascribed to David in the third book of Psalms and contains familiar quotes from other psalms, often mirroring them verbatim.

David spends the first 10 verses asking God for His protection. The request for protection is followed by David’s request for greater understanding in verses 11-13. In verses 14-17, he closes his psalm with a request for strength to fight off his enemies.

In this psalm, we see a mighty king, bending his knee to almighty God, demonstrating his dependence on the Lord, and showing us that he trusts Him and is ready to obey Him. David asks for grace, acknowledging it is not something God owes him. David rested with the confidence that God would answer his plea because God was the only one who is able to do great things. David trusted God because he knew that God was able.

David had personally experienced God doing tremendous things in his life, like calling him up from the fields into Saul’s palace to serve the King, and helping David slay the giant Goliath. David knew that he did not do these things in his own power, but rather because God was with him. What situation or circumstance in your life needs you to show dependence and trust in the Lord?

When we cry out for greater understanding for those things in our life that happen unexpectedly and that escape our ability to understand, we must mirror David’s call. David did so with humility, knowing God did not owe him an answer. He did not question God’s goodness or God’s plan, but sought to understand so that he could give God the glory. David knew God loved him and was the source of his salvation. He knew that it was the Lord who sustained him. It is okay for us to ask God questions, provided we remember that He alone is God and that He is holy and mighty. God doesn’t owe us an answer. Do you desire greater understanding? Have you asked God to provide it to you?

RB_Psalm Saturday

People were rebelling against David and God. Man’s rebellion against the Lord is nothing new. It was true before David, during David’s reign as King, and it remains true for us living in the 21st century. David looked for a sign from God, just like we often do. David asked for strength and that the Lord would deliver him from his troubles, just like we often do. David trusted that God would answer his plea. When you ask God to help you overcome the problems you are facing, do you trust Him to answer you?

God is for us, not against us. He is trustworthy. We can trust in Him. He hears our prayers and He is willing to answer them. Are we willing to faithfully obey His call on our lives? We must recognize our utter dependence on the Lord Almighty and acknowledge that God owes us nothing. Everything He has given us to date is sheer grace.

Blessings.

 

Psalm 86

A Prayer of David.

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. 3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. 4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. 6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. 7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. 9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. 10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. 12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. 15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 104: Using Your Creative Gifts for His Glory and Praise

In Psalm 104, we discover that we are in an extension of God’s creativeness. Through our work, we partner with the Lord, using our God-given creative abilities to share the Gospel and help transform lives. As a believer, my primary passion is sharing Jesus with others. It’s a joy that I am unable to keep to myself. Christ changed my life. He changed my beloved Sweet T’s life. We’ve seen Him transform the lives of others. God is so good to us. His grace and mercy are abundant gifts that He bestows upon us. Recognizing the Lord’s goodness, the unnamed psalmist cries out “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” at the beginning and in the final verse of this psalm.

The psalmist marvels at the creativity intricately entwined in the works of God. Our human work should reflect that same commitment to using our creativity to herald the message of God’s goodness and greatness. We must praise God with our mind and our mouth. God is always at work around us. It us up to us to join Him in the work that He is doing. While this may feel scary, we must remember that there is never a safer place than being in the center of God’s will.

Psalm104

In many ways, Psalm 104 is a celebration of Genesis 1. The psalmist reminds us of God’s sovereignty and we should submit to Him because He is the source and sustainer of life. As sinners, we find ourselves out of tune with the rest of creation that submits to God. As believers, through repentance and trusting in the Lord, we return to a harmonious accord with the Magnificent Maker of the Whole Universe.

By staying committed to a life of prayer and remaining rooted in God’s Word, you and I can use our creative gifts to transform lives through sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Regardless of the creative gift God has given you, imagine what would happen if you used it to glorify God and share the love of Jesus with the world? There is no better time than the present to begin using your creative gifts to work alongside the Lord for His glory and praise. Blessings.

 

Psalm 104

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
2 covering yourself with light as with a garment,
stretching out the heavens like a tent.
3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
he rides on the wings of the wind;
4 he makes his messengers winds,
his ministers a flaming fire.

5 He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they steal away
and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
and to his labor until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.

27 These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works,
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!